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Lock in theory with iReal Pro

Developing technical skills builds strong players. Working  through technical challenges can be more beneficial when combined with theory concepts and exponentially more engaging when locked into a groove. Fellow Clavier Companion contributor and improvisation specialist Bradley Sowash recommends developing scale playing with backing tracks th...
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Practicing with backing tracks

Most young musicians learn to play their instruments with peers in a student orchestra, concert band, or group class. Student pianists, on the other hand, because they typically practice and perform alone for many years may miss out on learning essential ensemble skills such as: Steady beat—keeping a steady pulse and avoiding pauses to fix notes; L...
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Piano teaching programs reviews: Practicia

Overview Price: Free for now. Subscription pricing  will take effect when beta period ends,  date and price to be determined. Technical Requirements: High-speed  internet connections, iPhone or iPad.  Android and desktop versions currently  under development. Website: practicia.com Customer support: Excellent  communic...
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Piano teaching programs reviewed: Wolfie

Overview Price: Free zone or full premium access  for $5.99/month (both student and teacher  must purchase) Systems: Only available for the iPad Equipment: Any acoustic or digital piano;  no cables or equipment necessary Website: tonara.com Pros ​ Large catalog and ability to scan any PDF  score into the app No extra equipment n...
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Apps for teaching: Make it stick with Quizlet

Quizlet is an app that generates flash cards. These are not the traditional, last-century, paper flash cards. Once you set up an account, you can create customized sets of virtual flashcards with engaging study modes, and access them on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Most students are familiar with Quizlet because the app is frequently used in ...
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First Looks: Apps for Teaching

Paper leaves a trail, and usually the trail leads to the trash can. For that reason, I prefer to avoid paper and ink and offer virtual lesson assignment sheets. All my notes for student lessons are written in Pages, a word processor app similar to Word and available for all iOS devices. The notes are emailed as a PDF (portable document file) after ...
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Piano Teaching Programs Reviewed: eNovative Piano

eNovate Screenshot
Overview: Subscription-based; there are a range of price plans for individual students, individual teachers, and institutions  Technology required—Internet- connected computer, phone, tablet, PDF reader, Adobe Flash  Website—www.enovativepiano.com Customer support includes online tutorial videos  Pros: Excellent pedagogical approach&...
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Piano Teaching Programs Reviewed: Simply Piano

Tutorial Mode
OVERVIEW:  Three subscription options:  1 Month - $14.99  3 Months - $29.99  1 Year - $89.99  Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch  Requires iOS 9.0 or later and internet connection  Optional: USB midi cable and Apple Camera Connection Kit for use with headphones  Website: www.joytunes.com/simply-pian...
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Playground Sessions

by Kristin Cahill  OVERVIEW: • PRICE AND OPTIONS: -$9.99/month (billed annually); includes $20 in song credits -$17.99 for a single month; includes one free song -$269.99 lifetime membership; includes $40 in song credits  *All subscriptions have full access to Playground software, community features (social media, leader boards), free Boo...
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Piano Marvel

OVERVIEW Price: • Free for level 1 materials. Premium account ($15/month or $99/year) provides full access to all levels.  • Some repertoire must be purchased in addition to the subscription. • The teacher and student both need subscriptions. Students are "linked" to teacher accounts upon subscription.  Technological Requirements: • ...
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Piano Maestro

Piano Maestro Logo
Not too long ago (say, way back in the 1990s), if you wanted to learn to play the piano, you basically had two options: you could find a teacher and take traditional lessons, or you could buy a book and try to teach yourself. With the growth of the internet and the arrival of smart mobile devices, those opportunities have expanded considerably.&nbs...
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Twenty-first century trends in computer-assisted ear training

A fine chef is expected to taste a dish and identify the key ingredients and an artist is expected to identify the nuances of color and shade,  ​yet many young and inexperienced musicians do not fully understand or appreciate the need to accurately hear and identify musical details. Ear training is one of the most essential skills that a compe...
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The Sound of the future

The Sound of the future
Editor's note: In the November/December 2014 issue, Clavier Companion launched a series of articles addressing the future of piano teaching. The following article is part of that series. In the mid 1900s, electronically produced sounds were only available to an elite group of composers, artists, and recording studios. Today, our students have easy ...
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Using video recording to improve your teaching

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Do you remember teaching your very first piano lesson, perhaps facing a "scary" five-year-old boy or girl, not knowing what to do, how to do it, or even where to start? When I teach piano pedagogy to university students, they are often interested in learning how to survive that first terrifying teaching day. While I must help students acquire funda...
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Screens are the new stages: How mobile devices and computers are changing performance

Screens are the new stages: How mobile devices and computers are changing performance
What a great honor it was to be asked to write an article for this series about the future of piano teaching. I feel that so much has already been stated by a number of my colleagues, and of course I concur that we do not have to fear the future and technological change. As others have noted, adapting your teaching to continual changes in technolog...
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The Future of Piano Teaching - Flipping the Music Studio: Ideas for using YouTube in your Teaching

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Editor's note: In the November/December 2014 issue, Clavier Companion launched a series of articles addressing the future of piano teaching. The following article is part of that series, which will continue in future issues.  At the recent National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, I opened my session by asking if anyone used YouTube. Everyone ...
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Should we fear the future?

Should we fear the future?
"What is the future of piano teaching?" is an important question, but it may tend to strike a bit of fear into each of us. Almost implicit in the question is another, more ominous question: "Will there be a future for piano teaching?" With the prevalence of online courses, YouTube videos, and iPad apps, all geared toward learning to play the piano,...
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Questions and Answers

Q: Would you please discuss the role of technology in piano teaching? How big a role do you think technology should play in weekly lessons? A:  ​We should revisit this question often, since technology changes so fast. And, for one who has built much of his career on efficacious application of technology in music teaching, what I'm about t...
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Mobile technology is the new normal

Mobile technology is the new normal
​ Editor's note: In the November/December 2014 issue, Clavier Companion launched a series of articles addressing the future of piano teaching. The following two articles are part of that series, which will continue in future issues. Think back to an earlier time in your life.  ​Did you turn a small knob to flip through the three major televisi...
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Video: A valuable tool for teachers

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Playing the piano is much like driving a car. When you drive a car, you have a destination in mind, and you focus your attention simultaneously on both the route and the moment-by-moment actions that will bring you to your destination. Along the way, you not only look at the road ahead, but you also acquire an awareness of cars around you, you keep...
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The Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching and learning.

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